Cervelo creates S3 Disc aero road bike

Canadian brand also adds new S5 builds to line-up

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Cervélo has created a disc brake version of its S3 aero road bike, which will also ship with Enve wheels for 2017.

What’s more, the Canadian brand has added new builds of its top-end aero road bike the Cervélo S5, which now comes fitted with SRAM eTap and Shimano Ultegra Di2. We visited the European launch in Andalusia, Spain to find out more.

Following on from the R3 Disc road bike and the P5X triathlon bike, Cervélo’s commitment to discs continues apace with the launch of the S3 Disc, which is available at launch in complete builds with mechanical Ultegra, Ultegra Di2 and Red eTap, as well as a frameset-only option.

There have been a number of other changes to the existing S3 as well. After years of shipping its bikes with training wheels, Cervélo has now decided to step up its game with new technical partner Enve, so you’ll now see bikes ship with Enve’s most popular 3.4 rims pairing, on a slightly different Formula hub to the readily available version.

The bikes also ship with Cervélo’s aero AB04 handlebar, designed with a short 80mm drop and a flat transition from bar to hood. Cervélo was aiming to design a bar that lets you ride with a nice bent arm in a relaxed position, without having to rotate them, which has a detrimental effect on the aero properties. The airfoil shape points forward in the centre, and the airfoil sits in front of the stem clamp; it’s a little deeper forward which does change your hand position slightly on the tops.

Another change is the new SP17 aero post, which now has a traditional clamp rather than the rotational design, which can be difficult to adjust and fit oversized rails. The new post has a top taken straight from the tried and tested FSA SL-K unit.

Frame changes for the S3 Disc include a move to internal battery mounting (the original S3 was conceived before the internal battery existed), a move to FSA and SRAM cranks, the new SP17 seatpost, and the Barfly for Cervélo GPS mount for the AB04 handlebar, and two choices of finish. Thru axles are 12/12 x 142, and it has flatmount disc fixings front and rear.

The rear derailleur hanger is a special design from Cervélo. In effect it floats when you build it up, get everything finger tight and aligned and then bolt down the rear hanger and lock it in the correct place. As it is located by the rear axle and not the frame, any changes and upgrades you make can be adjusted to fit perfectly.

Cervélo S3 aero testing

Aero testing was a key point when making an aero road bike with discs. Cervélo’s own testing of the S3 versus S3 disc (with David Zabriskie-shaped dummy in place) in the wind tunnel actually showed gains over the rim brake version.

“If you just add discs to an existing bike, then you won’t get an advantage, “ says Cervélo’s road product manager Phil Spearman, “but with clever interpretation and design you can get proper gains. With direct wind tunnel test comparisons between the S3 and S3 Disc with the same depth wheels we saw a 2 watt gain, where our competitors have claimed losses.”

It seems Cervélo has hit a sweet spot with the S3 Disc, as the S3 Disc outperforms its rim brake cousin for stats like weight and stiffness also. The disc frame is 40g lighter and the fork is 50g lighter, while head tube stiffness increases by 8% and the bottom bracket stiffness rises by 9%.

The geometry is exactly the same, including the short 405 chainstays, thanks to the chainring’s offset and lack of pickup pins on the SRAM and FSA units (compared to the Rotors usually specced on Cervélo’s bikes) negating the need for longer ‘approved’ chainstay lengths on Shimano and SRAM’s data sheets.

Cervélo S3 models and prices

Cervélo S3 Shimano Ultegra: £4,249 / €4,999 / $4,500
Cervélo S3 Shimano Ultegra Di2: £6,199 / €7,299 / $7,000
Cervélo S3 SRAM Red e-Tap: £7,649 / €8,999 / $8,500
Cervélo S3 frameset: £2,599 / €TBC / $TBC

Australian pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed.

New Cérvelo S5 builds for 2017

The S5 was born from Cervélo’s long time obsession with aero road, starting with the original Soloist — which gave the S series its initial. The S5 is one of its most successful bikes in competition, notching up 28 World Tour victories alone.

For 2017, Cervélo will be adding new eTap and Ultegra Di2 complete bikes to its range, which will come equipped with long-time technical partner Rotor’s 3D+ power meter cranks. It’s worth pointing out that the S5 also now ships with Enve 3.4 wheels.

Cérvelo S5 pricing and availability

We’ve been given the following 2017 pricing information for the S5:

Cervélo S5 frameset: £3,699 / €4,399/ $TBC
Cervélo S5 SRAM eTap: £8,999 / €9,999 / $TBC
Cervélo S5 Shimano Ultegra Di2: £7,999 / €8,799 / $TBC

US and Australian pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed.


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